Cleveland Museum of Art Bolsters Distance Learning with Infinity

  • Pexip
OSLO — The Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA) has grown its videoconferencing capabilities to reach more virtual learners than ever before, thanks to Pexip's Infinity platform. Pexip's scalable, distributed videoconferencing software enables the museum's distance education program to engage easily with participants from any system, device or video environment. CMA's sessions are offered to over 14,000 users across more than 350 schools and at dozens of retirement homes and community centers.

"The goal for our distance learning program was simple: provide an interactive learning environment that engages users through a combination of high-quality content and extreme ease of use," said Dale Hilton, director, teaching and learning department of education and interpretation at the Cleveland Museum of Art. "Since we deal primarily with schools and also now with retirement homes, which are generally new to videoconferencing, Infinity has allowed us to get them up and running quickly. Throughout 2014, the museum's user base grew steadily and we held more than 600 virtual meetings. Participants appreciate the natural fluidity of the experience as well as the simple access to virtual meeting rooms from any device."

CMA's distance learning program benefits from the Pexip Infinity videoconferencing solution as a way to reach a greater number of viewers across the Americas and even as far away as Australia. Offering more than 50 live, interactive topics, several of which are available in French, Spanish, German, and Italian, the museum delivers full motion HD video at 30 frames per second — creating a latency-free learning resource where participants from anywhere in the world can view art and artifacts from the museum's collection while interacting live, face-to-face with museum educators. The result is an enjoyable learning experience designed to enrich the study of history and the visual arts.

Virtualized Video-based Collaboration via Existing IT and Cloud Infrastructures
Entirely software-based, Pexip Infinity allows enterprises, healthcare facilities, and educational institutions to offer virtualized video-based collaboration to any user via existing IT and cloud infrastructures. Incredibly easy to install, deploy, and operate, the innovative platform allows stakeholders to use their existing hardware or software to create a truly seamless experience. As a result, users can collaborate across any platform including Microsoft Lync, Skype, and other soft clients, audio or videoconferencing systems, all major Web browsers, or devices such as smartphones, tablets, and PCs — enabling the provision of high-quality visual communications to everyone at a fraction of the cost of traditional solutions.

Skype Interoperability
The latest version of the Pexip Infinity platform — automatically available as an upgrade to CMA — adds enhanced features such as Skype interoperability. In short, it enables more than 300 million registered users of Skype to participate in CMA's distance learning programs without changing anything or adding software to their systems. Pexip's implementation of Skype enables users to participate in high-definition video right out of the box, as well as joining from any Web browser. In addition, Pexip's next release will include outbound streaming from Infinity. Pexip Infinity quickly and simply enables any content delivery network (CDN) service, such as YouTube, Adobe Media Server, Microsoft Azure, and Wowza to perform both live event streaming and recording. For instance, streaming through YouTube as a live event also automatically records the session, so it can be shared publicly or privately for consumption by an unlimited amount of users at their own leisure.

"As cultural institutions seek to expand audience reach, video collaboration becomes an extremely valuable tool," said Simen Teigre, CEO and Co-founder of Pexip. "Installed in a matter of minutes, Pexip Infinity is designed to let organizations easily deploy UCC systems without adding any costly infrastructures. We are very proud to play a part in CMA's successful distance learning program and look forward to many similar collaborations in the future."

Additional information is available at The Cleveland Museum of Art's distance learning program.

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